The deaths of two Pauls Valley sisters tragically killed a few months ago by a large rock falling out of a moving truck have now found a path into court.
Criminal charges have been formally filed against Billy Don Melson, 42, of Pauls Valley.
The sisters, Flora Perkins, 83 and Wanda Oliver, 89, were killed in the early evening hours of March 26 when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by a rock that fell out of a dump truck driven by Melson.
An affidavit filed in the case shows Perkins was a front seat passenger, while Oliver was in the back seat of a vehicle driven by Norma Caldwell, who was not injured.
“The investigation determined that a large rock fell from a truck driven by Melson, bounced off of the roadway through the front windshield of the 2017 Dodge Journey,” troopers stated in the court document.
“The collision was caused due to Billy Melson's failure to properly prevent any of its load from … escaping there from the semi-truck he was operating.”
Officials in the Garvin County District Attorney's office filed two felony counts of first-degree manslaughter against Melson.
Hours after the tragic incident troopers reported Melson's truck had just dumped a load of dirt at the site where a new grade school is in the early stages of being built on the west side of Pauls Valley.
The construction site is on the south side of state Highway 19 just east of Indian Meridian Road not far from Interstate 35.
Moments before the event the vehicle with Perkins and Oliver was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 77 just north of Pauls Valley near Kimberlin Road.
Melson's truck was moving the opposite direction on the same highway.
The rock, described by troopers at the scene as a “50-pound rock,” fell from the truck at a roadway curve coming into Pauls Valley.